I have object 1 which obscures object 2 which obscures object 3 which obscures object 4.

Object 1
  Object 2
    Object 3
      Object 4

I know I can ctrl + alt + click to select contiguous objects in the stack, but I want objects 1 and 3 selected, excluding 2 and 4.

Is there a way to quickly achieve such selection without having to rely on the XML Editor?


  • 1
    I sometimes do this sort of thing by moving the objects off the top of each other so they don't overlap (so much) then select the things I want. Then Ctrl+Z to undo the movements I just did. The objects I selected remain selected throughout the undo. Commented Oct 7, 2013 at 22:20

4 Answers 4


By far the easiest and quickest way to do this is to rely on the fact that undo in inkscape does not undo selection.

  1. Move the objects off each other so you can see them all (and click on them)
  2. Select the objects 1 and 3.
  3. Undo the Moves you did in step 1 with Edit > Undo

Objects 1 and 3 will still be selected even after the undo operations.

  • Wow, didn't know this after using Inkscape for 10+ years. Great answer!
    – filip
    Commented Mar 14, 2017 at 11:39

In new Inkscape 0.92 you can select it by holding alt with scrolling mouse.

Shift + Alt + Mouse Scroll will add to selection

enter image description here


If you hold down the Shift and Alt keys as well as hold down the life mouse button, you can draw over the object you want to select.


You can use the shift key for this purpose

Shift + Left Mouse Click to select multiple objects

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